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Before and After: The Incredible Real-Life Stories of Orphans Who Survived the Tennessee Children's Home Society

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  3,642 ratings  ·  758 reviews
7 hours, 57 minutes

The incredible, poignant true stories of victims of a notorious adoption scandal--some of whom learned the truth from Lisa Wingate's bestselling novel Before We Were Yours and were reunited with birth family members as a result of its wide reach

From the 1920s to 1950, Georgia Tann ran a black-market baby business at the Tennessee Children's Home Society
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published October 22nd 2019 by Ballantine Books
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 ·  3,642 ratings  ·  758 reviews

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Start your review of Before and After: The Incredible Real-Life Stories of Orphans Who Survived the Tennessee Children's Home Society
Angela M
Oct 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was so taken with Lisa Wingate’s moving novel Before We Were Yours, so I was definitely drawn to reading this nonfiction account . It focuses on real life stories of some adults who were victims of Georgia Tann’s corrupt money making operation, the Tennessee Children’s Home Society that sold babies and young children from the 1920’s to 1950. Stolen children, falsified records, illegal adoptions that cost $500 vs $7 for the state cost at that time. “An investigation concludes that Tann profited ...more
Dorie  - Cats&Books :)

This is the follow up non fiction book to “Before We Were Yours” by Lisa Wingate. I would recommend that if you haven’t read that novel you investigate the story of the Tennessee Children’s Home Society from the 1920’s through 1950 before reading this book, it doesn’t really work as a stand alone.

If you are looking for a lot more information about Georgia Tann and the daily operations of the orphanage you won’t find a lot of that here. This book is devoted to the adoptees.

Oct 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
" How does someone choose to prey on the most vulnerable? Go against all the instincts we have to protect children and market them like products? How does a community turn a blind eye?"

What happens when you find out that your name was not always your name? That you might have been snatched from a front yard, bought and sold, taken from a young poor mother who could not afford to battle a corrupt woman (Georgia Tann) who ran the Tennessee Children's Home Society. A black-market adoption agency
Diane S ☔
Dec 19, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 5000-2019
Evil comes in many shapes and sizes, but as to gender, the female sex is in the minority. Not in this case though, because Georgia Tann, was pure evil in a women's body. The harm she caused to so many women and children can not be underestimated. Although she did not operate alone, many make lawyers, politicians and judges were active participant. So evil had much help.

Many of those involved first found about about the children's home in Tennessee, when they read Wingates novel, Before we were
Aug 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Wow, this what I like to call a good “coffee table” book. It’s one of those books to have sitting on your coffee table that you can pick up and use as a conversation starter.

This is the nonfiction follow up to the novel Before We Were Yours. The book starts with Lisa Wingate seeking to reunite the surviving adoptees with other surviving victims of Georgia Tann's Tennessee Children's Home Society who have suffered silently. After travelling to Memphis, Lisa and journalist Judy Christie gather
"Parents were permitted to return a child like a piece of clothing that did not fit."

BEFORE AND AFTER is a real life sequel to BEFORE WE WERE YOURS as Julie Christie teams up with Lisa Wingate to bring us mind-boggling stories and family secrets as we revisit the Tennessee Children's Home Society (TCHS) child trafficking scandal of the self-serving and untouchable Georgia Tann. excerpts of letters from the nasty monster: "Take him and try him for a week."

......see baby pictures of

Busy, and rushed with deadlines, Judy Christie and Lisa Wingate's Before and After felt a bit disjointed. Their hearts were in the right place and many fans of Wingate's Before We Were Yours including me, were eager to read the personal stories of the many brave adoptees willing to be interviewed.

I am a proponent of open adoptions and feel keeping secrets does more harm than good.

Recommended to all who have interest in what happened to some of the children caught up in Georgia Tann's many
Oct 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Before and After by Judy Christie and Lisa Wingate is a non fiction follow up to Before We were Yours by Lisa Wingate.
The story of illegal adoptions and stolen children and the heartbreaking accounts of the terrible treatment of children and unmarried mothers.
Thank you to NetGalley and Quercus Books for my e-copy in exchange for an honest review.
Mary Jackson _TheMaryReader
Oct 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
Oh my where do I even start on this review.
First did you all read Wingates fiction book Before We Were Yours? If you answered NO you need to go get a copy of it and read it first.
Now on to the real life stories of the babys from Tennessee childrens home and how they are doing now. Wingate interviewed them and they share their stories.
Wait until you read the chapter Seven- Dollar Baby. Wait until you get to the end of this book. Wingate has out done herself, this story telling getting to the
♥ Sandi ❣
4.5 stars

Such a heartbreaking book. The non-fiction story behind the fictional book Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate. Same author, beside a co-writer, who follows up on the true story behind the horrific reign of Georgia Tann, owner and evil matron behind the Tennessee Children's Home Society.

After the first book Before We Were Yours was published in 2017 the author was inundated with messages from people who were either part of the Tennessee Children's Home Society, or had loved ones who
Karen Rush
Oct 25, 2019 rated it it was ok
I loved Before They Were Yours by Lisa Wingate and looked forward to reading these ‘Before and After’ stories of real victims touched by the Georgia Tann black-market adoption scandal. Unfortunately, I only made it halfway through the book. Too much superfluous writing about the authors, their efforts to put together a victims’ reunion and repeatedly plug Before They Were Yours with less focus on the victims. I felt like I was left hanging at the end of each spotlighted victim’s narrative.
Deanne Patterson
The nonfiction follow up to Lisa Wingate's wildly popular "Before We Were Yours" .
Lisa's book started the ball rolling in reuniting a lot of people with their families and it's still continuing today.
The truth comes out as people that were adopted from The Tennessee Children's Home Society from the 1920's to 1950's tell their stories. So many of the children placed there were stolen when desperate mother's thought they were just placing their children there until they got back on their feet.
Denise Reed
Jan 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
My first read of 2020, and I could not have picked a better book to start off the year! This book is a must-read read if you read (and loved) Before We Were Yours.

The book begins with authors Lisa Wingate and Judy Christie seeking to reunite surviving children of the infamous Tennessee Children's Home Society in Memphis. On the way to Memphis for the reunion, Judy stops along the way to meet with the adoptees and their families, who tell their respective stories. Their stories are a compilation
Jan 04, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020
Honestly I’m a bit disappointed with this read. At times the author’s voice, opinions, responses, daily schedule, book promotion, and preparations for the reunion greatly overshadowed the voices of those affected by Georgia Tan and the Tennessee Children’s Home Society. I was strangely unemotional for such an emotional topic. I did love hearing the adoptee’s stories of their journeys to finding the truth of their childhood trauma and search for their birth families. But ultimately I was left ...more
Sep 20, 2019 rated it it was ok
I’ll start by saying I absolutely loved Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate, it was one of my top favorite books. When I received this ARC I was anxious to get started reading, but I did not make it half way through. I found the writing style and use of names very hard to follow therefore finding it difficult to get emotionally involved with the people. The authors talk a lot about themselves and getting a reunion together, which was like, oh well. There is no doubt Georgia Tann was a horrific ...more
Oct 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2019
Before and After is a good example of how a work of fiction can make an impact.

The individual stories shared are a blend of heart breaking and heart warming. I cannot imagine the struggles these families have experienced.
Oct 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate opened a Pandora’s box of emotions for many families that had an adoption touch their lives in some way. After publishing Before We were Yours, Wingate began to hear from adoptees or their family members who believed they were adopted out of the Tennessee Children’s Home Society in Memphis. Some of the adoptees, young as they were, even remember Georgia Tann. Feeling that the stories were important, Wingate enlisted the help of an author and friend, Judy ...more
Melissa Henderson
Aug 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The true stories behind the book "Before We Were Yours" by Lisa Wingate. Authors Lisa Wingate and Judy Christie share the heartbreaking truths of children who were used by the Tennessee Children's Home Society and Georgia Tann.
Through research and conversations with family members of the TCHS children and at times, the actual children, truth is brought into the open.
My heart aches for each person affected by the deceit and greed involved in selling and buying children.
Thank you to Lisa and
3 Stars

*A fractured book that is part memoir, part anecdote, and part self-promotion*

I was debating which to read first: Before We Were Yours or Before and After. I went with the nonfiction Before and After because I prefer to have at least a general idea of the facts before reading the fiction. Both books are about the Tennessee Children's Home Society. First Lisa Wingate wrote her fictional story, Before We Were Yours. Because of the response to her novel, she decided to host a reunion of
BAM The Bibliomaniac
DNF at 15% just too depressing at the holidays
Nov 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
For fans of Before we were yours you need to read this book! The companion novel shares real life stories told by children adopted through the TCHS. This book is heartbreaking but yet many stories are filled with joy and happy endings. This read like an episode of 60mins and I couldn’t put it down hearing the similarities between these strangers was unbelievable. Definitely give this book a read
Karen Kay
I received this from for a review.

True stories from people who were victims of Tennessee Children’s Home Society, Georgia Tann.

Miriam Lozano
Jul 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing

II am a book ambassador for Author Lisa Wingate. She has sent me her newest book to read and review so I wanted to share my views on this page. The book is Before and After and I would call it a follow up, non-fiction to her number 1 best selling fiction book, Before We Were yours.

In this historical novel Lisa Wingate and Judy Christie tell a touching story of children who were snatched from their homes, hospitals and unwed poor mothers from 1927 to 1950 by Miss Tann of the Tennessee Children’s
Oct 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
I was heartbroken after reading Before We Were Yours and realized that that book was based on a true story. This book is a fascinating non-fiction follow-up to that book.
After the book was published, Wingate got many e-mails from those who had been adopted through the TCHS and those who thought they might have been. She was able to facilitate some of those people to reunite and find family members that they didn't know they had or those that they couldn't find. The book follows the stories of
Christina DeVane
Jan 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book on many levels. Stories from real people are my favorites, and those having endured a tragic past hold such mystery and inspiration to me. Not all these stories are sad as some adoptees came into wonderful families and had very successful lives. It was neat to hear that some of them were born-again Christians. These stories come to a beautiful conclusion with families being reunited and forgiveness being found. I believe it’s important to find healing from a troubled past.
Susan Snodgrass
Sep 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
'Tann's empire at the Tennessee Children's Home Society has been built with a combustible blend of desperate pregnant women, shattered children, vulnerable poverty-stricken families, eager adoptive parents, powerful politicians, ego, and greed.'

I read Lisa Wingate's 'Before We Were Yours' and it impacted me deeply. Based on the facts of the cruel and devious Georgia Tann, who stole and adopted out over 5000 children between 1924-1950, it was a powerful book! After the book came out, many came
Nov 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was a shocking and heart breaking account to read. It is difficult to believe that this lady got away with stealing, buying, and selling children and just outright taking them from the hospital! She got away with it for over 30 years and her actions are still affecting families today. This story lead me to YouTube videos of news stories about the investigation from 1992. Very interesting and heart wrenching read, I highly recommend it.
Susan Peterson
Oct 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Even though Before We Were Yours was a work of fiction, I couldn’t help but wonder what happened to the real families who were the victims of Georgia Tann and the Tennessee Children’s Home society. Were any of the siblings reunited, were any of the parents able to see their children again? What kinds of scars were left behind? When Before We Were Yours was published, it garnered a lot of attention from the public, and it also provided insight to adoptees regarding their personal stories. Judy ...more
Aug 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This novel is a non fiction follow up to the fiction novel Before We Were Yours. I honestly don’t read very much non fiction but this one was exceptionally well done with the telling of the real life stories of the survivors from the Tennessee Children’s Home Society. The reality is that some of these children were voluntarily given up by birth parents either because of extreme poverty or young unmarried women forced to give up their baby but there were many more that were stolen from their own ...more
Jen Juenke
Sep 09, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: non-fiction
UUUUGGGGHHHH...why do I torture myself? I really didn't like the book, Before We Were Yours. yet decided to give this book a try.
Over 20% of this book is the authors patting themselves on the back for getting a "reunion" together. The authors write about what THEY were doing, how THEY felt, why THEY were doing got really OLD very quickly.

The part that I loved was the stories of those who were adopted. I liked to hear how they found lost relatives.
Overall the majority of them were
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Judy Christie is an author and consultant who lives in Northwest Louisiana.

She writes inspirational fiction and nonfiction. Her popular Green series chronicles the goings-on in the small Louisiana town of Green and is part of Abingdon Press’s new inspirational fiction line.

Judy is also the author of the popular Hurry Less, Worry Less nonfiction series, published by Abingdon Press.

Wreath, published